Issuing its Statement of Achievements for 2012, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) reports a significant year of progress on the sustainable energy agenda where 4,000 jobs were maintained in the construction and energy service industries and €35 million worth of energy savings achieved.
In a year where SEAI disbursed over €70 million through capital support programmes, the Authority reports that every euro spent by the Government through its energy grant programmes leverages €2.50 in matched funding.
Better Energy Workplaces funded more than 100 energy efficiency projects in businesses and public sector organisations which significantly reduced their energy spend. The €11 million spent by government in 2012, coupled with €34 million matching funding, will save an estimated €11 million annually, a one year return on the State’s investment.
150 homes per day in 2012 received energy upgrades. 26,000 homeowners undertook insulation and heating upgrades meaning almost €100 million was spent in the construction industry, including €29 million exchequer support. Separately 14,000 vulnerable low-income households received insulation upgrades through the Better Energy Warmer Homes scheme, a vital pillar in the Government’s strategy to tackle energy affordability.
Commenting, Dr Brian Motherway, Chief Executive of SEAI said: “Sustainable energy is vital to Ireland’s economic recovery and job creation. Actions such as home energy upgrades and business energy cost savings are already proving how costs can be lowered and jobs created. At the same time, Ireland is exploiting its great natural resource – renewable energy – and thus dramatically reducing its imports of fossil fuels. What has been achieved today shows what is possible, but it is only the start. 2013 will be a year of further growth in all areas. SEAI’s focus is firmly on making things happen on the ground. We will be supporting all homes and businesses that want to reduce their energy bills. We will be offering funding to community groups to encourage local sustainability actions that create employment and improve communities. And we must ensure that we continue to develop wind and other renewable technologies, making sure that planning is done properly and local communities are engaged. SEAI’s job is to encourage real and meaningful action to create jobs, reduce energy costs and develop Ireland’s fast-growing sustainable energy sector.”